Was "Taxa as present' - now underground import

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Thu, 04 Sep 2008 08:32:11 PDT
>	Another problem with such a screening system is that this 
>will drive importing of plant
>further "underground."  US inspectors are woefully untrained and
>couldn't distinguish one plant from another in the first place, which
>makes enforcement of this new regulation impossible. If you thought
>wiretapping of calls to terrorists was bad, wait until they show up at
>your home wanting a list of plants that you grow...1984 all over again.
>Call your congressman today and let them know your concerns.

	I am surprised no one has followed up with comments on Tony's 
warning above.
	There are numerous examples of illicit imports from our "war 
on drugs'. Well just replace "drugs" with "plants". I have heard some 
well known plant collectors and avid growers tell of direct or 
indirect imports. Mostly based on the imposition of a system that 
does not have flexibility or consistency.

A few examples:

	(In re-reading this note, I decided to censor my list of 
examples as it might promote some methods of sneaking plants, seeds, 
cutting across the border. Not my intent)


	Yes the plant inspectors can't tell an endangered from an 
invasive species. 'Woefully untrained' is a huge understatement. 
Their powers of ID would make most gardeners blush.

	More infuriating is when a person has an import permit, 
correct documents and everything in a row and the plants are 
confiscated at the airport by an untrained Ag inspector who doesn't 
want to make any mistake so goes to the other extreme.

	And I have heard stories of the "Plant Police' coming to a 
person's house and giving them a VERY hard time, but short of 
torching all evidence.

	I am touching only on the most distant tip of the iceberg 
here. Imagine how illegal plant imports would explode when  legal 
imports are restricted even more such as to commercial growers ONLY 
and a restrictive list of approved species.

	The development of species lists and tighter restrictions is 
not a good idea.

	Surely many of you have had a packet of seed come from 
another country without being opened or inspected on entry. Have you 
reported its arrival to your local Dept. of Ag. APHIS station? What 
if each incident lead to a visit from the Plant Police or a fine, 
imprisonment, impoundment and more? All kinds of punishments are on 
the books as it is, but rarely and arbitrarily enforced.

	Best wishes and a bit reluctant to even mention more on this 
whole topic. Who knows who is listening in any more?

			Anonymous X
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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